Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Welcome to Day 311 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Job 31, “If…”
Job 32, “So Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said…”
All 22 verses in Job 32 are a warmup for Elihu…
(I am now on pins and needles! Have to wait until tomorrow to hear Elihu’s wisdom…)
Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 13, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
The sinful nature vs. the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
18 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit…”
Paul continues his discourse on freedom of the Spirit.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 13, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”
People often use “freedom” as a license to get away with something vs. using freedom to do what they know they should. Being a slave to righteousness vs. sin.
Being free from sin, vs. being free to sin.
(Both were written this morning…)
I think Galatians is one of my favorite books… Short and sweet. Direct. Addresses real issues… the flesh, and sin vs. freedom, righteousness and the fruit of the Spirit.
I love how Paul ends his letter to the Galatians, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit…”
It’s only by his grace that we can stand, walk in righteousness and experience ANY real freedom.
I love this particular topic… walking in the Spirit (not the works of the flesh.) Because it’s a real topic… a real issue for all of us. Because legalism has a way of setting in. It’s easy to make righteousness something I do vs. what He has already done. Like by my own works, I become righteous, by my own efforts…
And that’s not how it works.
It’s by what HE has done. By the finished work on the cross. Not by my own efforts, or even by not sinning.
Obviously not sinning is a good thing. It under-girds our relationship with Christ. Shows others around us that we are being transformed, changing… becoming more like Him.
But I can’t be “perfect” enough to be better than anyone else around me.
If we fall into that thinking, we become like the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector… The Pharisee was “confident” of his own righteousness… but the Tax Collector asked God for forgiveness and went home justified before God. See Luke 18.
For seasoned believers, it’s easy to fall into that. Thinking we are better than others because of what we do or don’t do. That somehow we are in better standing before God.
I bet that attitude is detestable to God.
Should the Tax Collector stop sinning by cheating others? Yes! Can he continue getting away with that and going to the temple and asking God to forgive him as he continues in his sinful pattern? Not a great idea… But that wasn’t the point of the parable…
But at what point does that Tax Collector have to change? At what point does or will God hold him responsible… or not let him off the hook so easily?
It’s so easy to become like the Pharisees, isn’t it?
Lord help me to not become like the Pharisees, looking down on others, confident of my own righteousness…